The mainstream media were aflame Wednesday with breaking news that, by virtue of the
very people revealing it, avoided the level of raging political scandal. Still, it
was newsworthy. Former New Mexico senator
Pete Domenici and Washington lobbyist
Michelle Laxalt issued separate statements revealing they have a son,
Adam Laxalt, born 35 years ago after, apparently, a one-night stand. They did not grandstand
about it or try to fan any flames. Laxalt, herself the daughter of Domenici’s fellow
Senate colleague, Republican
Paul Laxalt, said they were going public only to blunt a possible press smear.
“Recently information has come to me that this sacred situation might be twisted .
. . and shopped to press outlets large and small in a vicious attempt to smear, hurt
and diminish Pete Domenici, an honorable man,” she wrote in her statement to the
Albuquerque Journal. In his own statement to the newspaper, Domenici said, “Rather than have others breach
this privacy . . . these circumstances now compel me to reveal this situation.”
Laxalt said her pregnancy was the result of “one night’s mistake,” but that she opted
to have the baby and raise him in the Washington area as a single parent. She asked
Domenici to not reveal that they were the parents, a pledge he said he honored, telling
his own family only in the past several months. “My past action has caused hurt and
disappointment to my wife, children, family and others,” he said. Domenici, who is
80 years old, retired from the Senate in 2009.
All three of the principal players involved—father, mother, and son—have indicated
they have said all they have to say about the matter and will likely not be making
the television interview circuit, though it’s certain every talk-show booker is in
Adam Laxalt, who is a lawyer in Las Vegas, told the
Washington Post he would not be “joining any public discussion.”
But a number of years ago, when he was an undergrad at Georgetown University, Adam
did go public with something private and personal: the story of his battle with alcoholism.
He is profiled in the March 1999 issue of
The Washingtonian, one of five Washingtonians who talk about life as a recovering alcoholic. Read the
full profile, written by Chuck Conconi, online.